Washout in drill string can cause big problem later such as parted drill string. When we see stand pipe pressure decrease without changing any parameters as flow rate, mud properties, etc, you may need to consider following items before you decide to pull out of hole for washout.

**1. Check surface line:** You may need to close stand pipe valves or IBOP and then pressure up to see leaking in the surface. If you see pressure drop, you can fix the surface problem. Anyway you still need to test system again.

**2. Check drillstring: **You may pump the same flow rate and see how your MWD tool down hole response. If y MWD tool response gets weaker signal so it means that you have washout somewhere above MWD tool. If not, you may have washout below that such as bit, mud motor, etc.

**You may consider finding washout depth by using two following formulas listed below:**

**Method 1: **The concept of this method is to pump plugging material to plug the wash out. We will count how many strokes pump till pump pressure increases then we can calculate back where the washout is by applying internal capacity concept and pump output concept.

**Depth of washout in ft= (strokes pumped till seeing pressure increase x pump output in bbl/stk) ÷ drill pipe capacity in bbl/ft**

Determine washout depth from following information:

Internal drill pipe capacity = 0.00742 bbl/ft

Pump output = 0.0855 bbl/stk

Pressure increase was noticed after 400 strokes.

Depth of washout, ft = 400 stk x 0.0855 bbl/stk ÷ 0.00742 bbl/ft

Depth of washout = 4609 ft

**Method 2: **The concept of this method is to pump material that can be easily observed from drill pipe pass through wash out into annulus and over the surface. We can calculate the depth of washout bases on the combination volume of internal drill pipe volume and annulus volume.

Note: The materials can be easily observed when it comes across the shakers are as follows: carbide, corn starch, glass beads, bright colored paint, etc.

**Depth of washout in ft = (strokes pumped till observed material on surface x pump output in bbl/stk) ÷ (drill pipe capacity in bbl/ft + annular capacity in bbl/ft)**

Determine depth of washout from following information:

Internal drill pipe capacity = 0.00742 bbl/ft

Pump output = 0.0855 bbl/stk

Annulus capacity = 0.0455 bbl/ft

The material pumped down the drill pipe was noticed coming over the shaker after 2500 strokes.

Depth of washout, ft = (2500 x 0.0855) ÷ (0.00742+0.0455)

Depth of washout = 4039 ft

If you want to subtract volume from bell nipple to shale shaker, you can subtract the volume out of total volume pumped. Therefore the formula will be

**Depth of washout, ft = (strokes pumped till observed material on surface x pump output in bbl/stk – volume (bbl) from bell nipple to shale shaker) ÷ (drill pipe capacity in bbl/ft + annular capacity in bbl/ft)**

**Example:** Internal drill pipe capacity capacity = 0.00742 bbl/ft

Pump output = 0.0855 bbl/stk

Annulus capacity = 0.0455 bbl/ft

The material pumped down the drill pipe was noticed coming over the shaker after 2500 strokes.

Volume from bell nipple to shale shaker = 10 bbl

Depth of washout in ft = (2500 x 0.0855 – 10) ÷ (0.00742+0.0455)

Depth of washout = 3850 ft

**ANYWAY PLEASE REMEMBER. **If you know that your wash out is down hole, practically, we need to pull out of hole ASAP after we determine washout situation. The more you pump, more washout will be occurred.

**Please find the excel sheet for calculating depth of washout**

**Ref books: **Lapeyrouse, N.J., 2002. Formulas and calculations for drilling, production and workover, Boston: Gulf Professional publishing.

Bourgoyne, A.J.T., Chenevert , M.E. & Millheim, K.K., 1986. SPE Textbook Series, Volume 2: Applied Drilling Engineering, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Mitchell, R.F., Miska, S. & Aadny, B.S., 2011. Fundamentals of drilling engineering, Richardson, TX: Society of Petroleum Engineer